In A Mother's Suicide, A Story Of Family and Mental Illness
APRIL 07, 2015
This week, a documentary film about one family’s struggle with suicide will screen in Saranac Lake, Malone, and on the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation in Franklin County New York. The film, called “Here One Day,” was made by Kathy Leichter, a seasonal resident of Essex County who also lives in New York City.
Since she first got involved in documentary films 20 years ago, Kathy Leichter’s work has always been about making something of real value. That certainly hasn’t changed with her latest effort, “Here One Day.”
How can a person overcome the basic instinct we all possess to survive and take one's own life? The families, friends, coworkers, and many other intimates of the more than 39,000 people who suicide annually in the USA may wonder. Those close to the 22 veterans every day, men and women, who die by suicide may wonder. Doctors and other health and mental health professionals try to comprehend and explain...
Here One Day – A Look At Bipolar Disorder And Its Repercussions
JULY 31, 2014
I recently received an email about the independent film Here One Day by Kathy Leichter, from Kathy, with a request to check the film out and possibly point it out to my readers. Kathy’s mother Nina eventually succumbed to her battle with Manic-Depression and leapt to her death from their New York apartment on February 6th, 1995. The point that really stood out to me in her email was the fact that she had uncovered sixteen audio tapes that Nina had recorded while trying to manage and maintain her mental illness...
U.W.S. Filmmaker produces Doc About Her Mother’s Death
MARCH 13, 2014
In February of 1995, when documentary filmmaker Kathy Leichter was 28, she got a phone call from her dad, New York State Senator Franz Leichter, and promptly hung up on him.He called because her mother, Nina Leichter, 63, who had long suffered from bipolar disorder, had committed suicide by jumping from the kitchen window of their 11th-story apartment on Riverside Drive.“No,” was all Leichter said before hanging up...
When Kathy Leichter embarked on a journey to reach closure over her mother’s suicide, she had no idea how many people she would be taking along with her.Leichter’s quest for understanding is chronicled in her 2013 documentary, Here One Day. At times unsettling, tragic and confrontational, the film also contains moments of beautiful imagery that serve as a reminder that despite her continuing turmoil, Leichter’s long struggle to come to terms with her mother’s actions hold out the promise of better days. These moments also enable viewers to catch their breath after listening to painfully self-aware recordings her mother made and saved in the years before her death.This unsparing look at mental illness — and the damage it inflicts upon the afflicted and their loved ones — is what led Sara Wenger to select Here One Day as the closing night film for the third annual ReelAbilities Film Festival, which opens March 20...
Kathy Leichter’s mother, Nina, used to dress up a mannequin in their Manhattan apartment as Bob Dylan. She would move a bust of Marie Antoinette that she’d found in someone’s garbage from the living room to the bathroom, or vice versa, depending on her mood. She was a prolific poet, and she loved rock and roll.“She was unconventional and interesting and funny, and I liked that about her,” says Leichter, who was 7 years old when her mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1974...
Making Peace After They're Gone: "Here One Day" Director Kathy Leichter on Her Mother and Suicide
SEPTEMBER 30, 2013
A P.E.E.R.S. radio interview with Director Kathy Leichter. "Documentary filmmaker Kathy Leichter moved back into her childhood home where her mother, Nina, committed suicide in 1995. Nina had bipolar disorder. She was charming, witty and a mental health activist.
Kathy gained greater insight into Nina’s joys and struggles when she found her mother’s personal audiotapes. Kathy chronicles her mother’s life and bouts with bipolar in the film “Here One Day.” She speaks with Host Jenee Darden about the film, her mother and how family members cope when a loved one lives with a mental illness."
Mother's Suicide Leads Documentarian to Make Candid Film
SEPTEMBER 30th, 2013
When I returned to my childhood home, I discovered 300 family Civil War letters. I have transcribed them, but nothing more.
Not so Kathy Leichter. The Cornell graduate and daughter of former New York State senator Franz Leichter left Pittsburgh's public television station six months after her mother committed suicide in 1995 by jumping out the dining room window of her apartment in Manhattan, N.Y. Leichter returned to her childhood home and found a hidden box of audiotapes her mother had made.
Interview with Kathy Leichter, Director of Here One Day
MAY 14th, 2013
After Nina Leichter committed suicide her daughter Kathy moved back into her childhood home to maintain a connection to her lost mother. In 2004, after her success as a documentary filmmaker and an advocate for media activism, Kathy found the courage to examine her own deeply personal story with the same probing, critical attention she has brought to the stories of others. The result is Here One Day, a moving, powerful, and ultimately cathartic – for both filmmaker and viewer – story about family, grief, and mental illness. I sat down with Kathy to discuss the making of the film and what motivated her to tell her story now.
The grieving process takes many different forms, with closure coming via unexpected or unforeseen means, occasionally out of one’s control. For Kathy Leichter, whose mother Nina died in 1995, the journey occurred across 15 years, involving a video camera, hours of audio diaries, a supportive-albeit at times reluctant- family, and lots of unexpected revelations.
I first found out about Kathy Leichter’s documentary, Here One Day (above), via an email announcing the film’s Kickstarter campaign. Like many independent filmmakers, I receive many such emails. But what set this one apart from the others was the sender, filmmaker/editor (and friend) Pola Rapaport, whose work I greatly admire – and the film’s subject.